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Protected species found in man’s flat

A man in Stung Treng town was busted on Tuesday with more than three dozen protected wild animals and an assortment of antlers that he was selling out of his home, the local forestry administration said yesterday.

Sor Vuthy, forest administration chief in Stung Treng town, said that his office, police and the conservation NGO Wildlife Alliance surrounded suspect Chan Dara’s flat and detained him until he paid a 10 million-riel fine (about $2,500).

“We suspected for a long time that this flat [was] keeping protected wildlife,” Vuthy said. “He was keeping them for sale; this makes wildlife [populations] in our country decrease.”

The wildlife seized included four vipers, an 8-kilogram python, a soft-shelled turtle, four lizards totalling 9 kilograms, three civets, 23 turtles and eight snakes.

“The protected wildlife was set free at the national park in Mondulkiri,” Vuthy said.

Stung Treng resident Pan Van yesterday said the wildlife trade was common there.

“We pity our wildlife if the suspects, especially people in Stung Treng, like to buy and sell those rare animals,” he said.

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